Weekly Review July 7-13

Every week, we read dozens of articles on our favorite industry trends that relate to our investment thesis. We pick the most popular trend from the week and share the top articles along with our comments.

Click “continue reading” to check out this week’s headlines on renewable energy and check out our weekly board on Pinterest.

“Can This Portable Solar Charger Create African Electricity Entrepreneurs?” by Ariel Schwartz on Fast Co Exist
Fenix International, a startup offering plug and play batteries, is working with African entrepreneurs to spread the benefits of its product. The batteries can be charged with solar power, traditional grid electricity, or microgrids. In Uganda, Fenix is working closely with telecom MTN to sell the rechargeable batteries to consumers, who in turn earn money by offering a charging solution to the community. Check out how Fenix is working to scale in Fast Co Exist’s article.

“Solar-Powered Community Radio!” on Greenpeace
To ensure consistent access to radio communications at a Greenpeace center in DRC, the community has installed solar panels. The previously unstable electricity supply prevented the community from receiving vital communications and uninterrupted broadcasting. Renewable energy alternatives not only improve communication, but also protect the communities from environmental harm.

“Why do we keep hearing about microgrids?” by Gary Wetzel on Renewable Energy World
Although microgrids aren’t new to the alternative energy industry, lately they are becoming more popular thanks to Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Standard 1547.4 that was released last year. This standard sets a benchmark for design, operation, and integration of microgrids into existing systems. Pike Research suggests that global microgrid capacity will reach 4.7 gigawatts by 2017, including emerging markets.

“IEA roadmap shows solar can meet one-sixth of world’s heating and cooling needs” on Renewable Energy Focus
The IEA has published a Solar Heating and Cooling Roadmap, a plan suggesting the best way to increase global reliance on solar heating and cooling technologies. The report suggest that solar energy could provide more than 16% of heating needs and 17% of cooling needs. Such increases in renewable energy will be important as global energy demand for heating and cooling rises.

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